IPP Chairmain and Founder Mr. Reginald Mengi has published an autobiography chronicling his journey from a humble background in a small village in Northern Tanzania to his emergence as one of the most successful businessmen in Africa.

The book titled ‘I can, I must, I will’, was officially launched on Monday in Dar es Salaam at a ceremony attended by Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, as well as several leading entrepreneurs, politicians and diplomats. In his remarks, Reginald Mengi told the audience that he decided to write and publish his autobiography after being prompted by his late son, Rodney Mutie Mengi, to tell his story.

“Before he passed away, my son always encouraged me to tell my story to inspire many young entrepreneurs across Africa. A lot of youthful entrepreneurs on the continent are stuck in one way or the other, trying to build businesses and encountering difficulties. Many of them give up. I want young people to read my story and see that even with all the disadvantages I grew up with, I was able to turn my life into a big success story. If I did it, anyone can do it. But to succeed, young people must adopt the mantra: I can, I must, I will,” Mengi said.

In his address at the ceremony, President Magufuli acknowledged Mengi as one of Tanzania’s most illustrious capitalists and humanitarians.

“One of the things that Mengi has showed us with his life is that it is possible to rise above one’s circumstances if one is willing to pay the price. There is no shortcut to success. Mengi’s story is a wake up call to young Africans to work hard and persevere despite of the odds,” the President said.

Mengi was featured in FORBES’ ranking of Africa’s richest people with a fortune of more than $400 million in 2015. He runs the IPP Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate that bottles Coca-Cola and manufactures the bestselling ‘Kilimanjaro’ water brand in the country. His group is also involved in mining, real estate and owns the largest portfolio of media assets in East and Central Africa. The group employs more than 5,000 people. Mengi is also one of the continent’s most revered philanthropists. The Rodney Mutie Foundation which he founded pays for open-heart surgeries for scores of underprivileged Tanzanian children with heart dysfunctions every year.